Entries tagged with “reducing waste”.

Circle of Moms asked, “What’s an easy, eco-friendly habit that could help families save money?”

We save money and reduce our environmental impact with this one question… “Can I EASILY accomplish the same thing with less waste, expense and/or processing and transportation?”

Take something as simple as popcorn for example.  Popcorn is a popular snack in our home.  Once I started making and throwing away a bag or two of microwave popcorn a day I tried making it myself from kernels.   I remembered my parents making it in a pan over the stovetop with a little oil.  So I bought a bag of popcorn seeds which will last me usually at least a month or more for under $2.00. Throw in a shaker of popcorn seasonings and for the same price as box of microwave popcorn (which would be gone in less than a week) we had a month’s worth or more of popcorn supplies.  Popping the corn did not take any more time or inconvenience as sitting watching a bag or two of popcorn in the microwave. So now we enjoy the same snack with much less waste, expense, and processing.  Not to mention it is healthier too.

This same equation can be applied to just about everything.  It goes way beyond the kitchen…

  • Household cleaners – baking soda and vinegar can tackle most of what you use chemicals to clean.  Even if you still want to occasionally clean with chemicals substituting vinegar and water a couple of cleaning a month will reduce environmental impact and expense.
  • Egg trays for seedling trays.
  • The library for books, movies, magazines and eBooks instead of the bookstore.
  • Plugging in entertainment center equipment into power strips that can be turned off when not in use or leaving the house with one switch.
  • Programming your thermostat to be warmer or cooler when no one is home.
  • Reusing glass and plastic containers that come with your groceries.
  • Buying second-hand.  One second-hand big ticket purchase alone can save your household thousands of dollars and reduce environmental impact.
  • Grouping your errand running by locations to save time and gas.
  • When you are grocery shopping purchase a couple of easy dinner items so you can skip takeout the next time you are short on time or energy.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  If you are short on time or inclination start with just one simple change and when you see how easy it is to save money and reduce your environmental footprint without additional inconvenience or diminishing your quality of life you will want to do more.  Pick a starting place that will give you the most personal satisfaction and go from there.

Here are some other ideas for you to consider. Got an idea you want to share?  Please do!

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This is not the post I had planned to follow up my last, So what’s your point, Edenfeed. However, I have a couple of HUCO projects and the celebration of my youngest son’s first birthday that is demanding my attention.  So I am Edenfeed behind.  I will get caught back up as soon as I can.  This post is something I wrote on February 28, 2009.  In the posts I will be sharing over the next weeks you learn much has happened in the Covine world since February, 2009 including that son whose birthday we are celebrating today.  I had to update just a very few things in this post to make it still relevant and timely.

The changing economy is creating a new reality for many individuals and our collective society.  People all across the country and world are more conscientious about their decisions and their impact.   This is changing many behaviors.  While I am not really a people watcher, I do try to pay attention my everyday world. I like to relate the things I see in my everyday world to the news and the current events I read.  If you have been watching lately you have probably noticed some, if not all, of the following happening around you.

People doing the following…

  • Conserving energy
  • Reducing waste
  • Helping each other more
  • Demanding equality, productivity and accountability in our political system
  • Praying or Counting their blessings
  • Balancing their lifestyles
  • Saving
  • Innovating
  • Recycling
  • Gardening and gleaning

If you judged the current situation by these behaviors alone, you might say the recession is a good this thing that creates better people.  Who through their changing behaviors will help create a better, healthier, happier, more bountiful society. Trust me, I am not advocating a recession economy it has put a few wrinkles in our road and on my face too. (I have a couple of posts on our layoff experiences I will share soon) But it does beg the question… do we HAVE to have a fire to steel character?

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Halloween with children means Jack O’Lanterns.  In our house it also means roasted pumpkins seeds, pumpkin bread, and a compostable bow target.  The pumpkin is truly a treat for the entire Halloween weekend. Nothing goes to waste.Jack o lanterns1 150x150 The Trick is to Treat without Waste

First, there is the pumpkin carving.  While we carve the pumpkin we separate the seeds from the guts.  The seeds will be roasted in the oven and enjoyed that evening.  The guts will be cooked a bit and frozen for pumpkin bread later.  The Jack O’Latern will be lit and enjoyed a bit that evening and then again during the trick or treating.

Click here to learn how to roast pumpkins seeds or how to prepare raw pumpkin for future use in your favorite pumpkin recipes.

After the trick or treat festivities are over and the pumpkin can no longer be enjoyed as a Jack O’Lantern. The boys get to use the pumpkin for bow target practice. Only under Dad’s careful supervision, of course.  From there, the pumpkin will go to its final resting place.  The compost, where it will get to live on as fertilizer.

The Costume, another centerpiece of the Halloween celebrations, offers us another opportunity to limit waste. Michael and David, now 8 and 6, no longer desire such costumes as Batman or Superman.  Costumes that we easily and inexpensively pick up at the store and they enjoy for countless hours during pretend over the next year.  Their tastes are evolving.  So we are taking a different strategy.

They originally wanted to be gangsters.  But Tony and I (already struggling with the challenges of keeping our children young and innocent in our modern world) prefer to steer them in a different direction. We have encouraged them to consider something they really would like to add to their possessions.  Maybe something somewhat impractical that we might not otherwise be buying them right now.  An easy task.

Basketball is Mike’s top non-school interest these days. So he is going to be a basketball player and gets to pick a few new basketball accessories. Dave and I have a hankering to add cowboy boots to our wardrobes this fall. So we are going to be cowboys.  Or should I say, he as a cowboy and I as a cowgirl, as Dave corrects me.   This strategy lets us enjoy the Holiday and still avoid spending time and money on items that may otherwise simply become clutter next week.

Have a Happy Halloween All!

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